The killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh must be condemned 

The Palestinian journalist was shot and killed on Wednesday 11 May while she was on duty covering the occupation’s illegal actions in the Palestinian city Jenin. IMS condemns what looks like a extrajudicial execution and calls on all human rights organisations and democratically minded States to do the same. 

Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest and a helmet when she was murdered. She was killed by a shot to the exposed part of her head. According to Palestinian journalists who were with Shireen at the time of her death, the Palestinian press crew were facing Israeli snipers and made themselves visible to them, but were deliberately targeted. The killing looks like an extrajudicial execution undertaken by a State actor, not unlike the deliberate targeting of Jamal Khashoggi and other journalists targeted by authoritarian regimes in recent years. 

Not only is the murder devastating for the individual journalist and her family and colleagues, but it also results in a chilling effect, potentially intimidating other journalists into not doing their job. 

Attacks on journalists range from online harassment – which particularly targets women journalists – to arbitrary arrest and detention, physical intimidation, to murder.

IMS calls on all national, regional and international stakeholders as well as all democratically minded States to condemn the killing and to support all efforts to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. 

IMS has supported Palestinian journalists and human rights defenders with a comprehensive media programme since 2019. IMS promotes the safety of journalists and the global fight to end impunity for crimes against journalists via UNESCO’s Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.